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is, according to harry reid, there was a huddle but jake tapper was told that the lawmakers were told to, quote, talk solutions. that certainly would be a change. >> the president, republican and democratic leaders coming together to unveil civil rights icon rosa parks, all pulling in the same direction. the partisan tug-of-war over. >> mr. president, you honor us with your presence. thank you for being here. >> reporter: but this bipartisan moment was just that. a moment. here's the senate leaders going at it just 45 minutes earlier. >> he wasn't elected to work with the congress he want. he was elected to work with a congress he had. >> republicans are too busy fighting among themselves to unite behind a course so they are instead doing nothing. zero. >> reporter: the president did ask congressional leaders to the white house to discuss forced spending cuts for their first face-to-face meeting that republicans call devastating. but the invitation is for friday, the same day those cuts kick in. democrats came to the president's defense. why wait so long? >> well, look, it is entirely
york times." he begins with these words. on july 26, 2011, jack lew went to harry read's budget for a session. according to bob woodward's book, they came up with a trigger idea to force a budget deal. what's the idea, reid asked? sequestration, lew said. reid folded himself over with his head between his knees as if he was going to throw up. here's the question. if this is such a horrible idea, sequestration or these forced budget cuts, why did the white house come up with this idea to begin with? >> well, as you remember, wolf, in the summer of 2011, we were facing a situation where the nation was about to default for the first time in its history because republicans were refusing to agree to a balanced approach to a deficit reduction. both sides were looking for a way to craft a deal that would avoid default and a trigger mechanism. sequestration, which is a word that most americans have never heard before, is simply a way of crafting policy that was so onerous that would cause cuts that nobody liked, republicans or democrats, and because of that they would compel the prospec
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